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Bill Maher: 'Impeachment turned out to be a horrible thing,' Donald Trump 'emboldened' by acquittal

Bill Maher, one of President Trump’s fiercest critics on cable television, voiced regret Friday over Congress having conducted the impeachment proceedings he previously championed.

“Impeachment turned out to be a horrible thing,” the liberal comic said during the latest episode of his weekly HBO program, “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

“If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t, because it just emboldened him,” Mr. Maher said about impeaching Mr. Trump.

Mr. Maher, 64, made the remarks while discussing the president’s recent firing of five inspectors general who had been tasked with conducting oversight of the Trump administration.

Calling it a “war on accountability,” Mr. Maher said the president removed the watchdogs without making too much noise by acting while the media was focused on COVID-19, the contagious disease responsible for the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic that has claimed nearly 100,000 lives across the country and counting.

“I bet you most people are watching this and going, wow, I hadn’t heard that, because the news is all COVID,” Mr. Maher said during the episode.

Mr. Maher routinely slams Mr. Trump on his HBO program, frequently comparing the president to tyrannical dictators and predicting he will not leave the White House if voted out.

He also voiced support for trying to remove Mr. Trump by impeachment early last year, months before Democrats in the House of Representatives eventually initiated the proceedings.

“I don’t know how we get out of this except by getting him out of office,” Mr. Maher said in January 2019. “I wasn’t necessarily for impeachment until recently, but I think you have to go ahead and do it.”

The House of Representatives ultimately passed two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump last December, but he was subsequently acquitted in the Senate in February where fellow Republicans have control and spared him removal from office. 

More recently, Mr. Maher said last month that he believes Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic warrants his impeachment as well.

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